The trial in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case filed against Ex Prime minister of Bangladesh and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others is to be held today inside Dhaka Old Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road, where Khaleda has been serving jail in another case.
The BNP chief is serving five years’ of rigorous imprisonment in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. Khaleda had not been produced before the makeshift court at Bakshibazar Alia Madrasa since she was convicted in the graft case on February 8, 2018.
Meanwhile, the law ministry yesterday issued a gazette for the trial of the Zia Charitable Trust graft case to be held at the jail, taking into considering the security concerns for the BNP chief.
In the gazette, signed by Md Mahbubar Rahman Sarkar, deputy secretary (administration-1) of the ministry, it was mentioned that the trial of the case cannot be held at Bakshibazar Alia Madrasa because it is a crowded area. The trial will instead be held at a temporary court at Room No-7 of Administrative Building inside the jail.
The government has set up a temporary court for holding the trial of the Zia Charitable Trust graft case, Deputy Commissioner (prosecution) Anisur Rahman told
Earlier in 2016, the law ministry issued a gazette for the trial of the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases to be held at the makeshift court at Bakshibazar Alia Madrasa.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 of Dhaka will be holding the trial from today.
Asked, Khaleda’s lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder told The Daily Star that the decision for holding the trial inside the jail is an “illegal attempt”, adding that the trial against any person should be held at a place which everybody has easy access to.
“But the jail is a restricted area where nobody can enter easily to witness the trial,” Masud added.
The graft case was filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission with Tejgaon police in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others for abusing power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.
The three other accused are Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of the then prime minister Khaleda between 2001 and 2006, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, APS to former Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.